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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

A&M commits shine at Texas State 7on7 Championships

2018+linebacker+commit+Brian+Johnson+makes+a+leaping+interception+against+Hutto+during+pool+play.
Photo by By Alex Miller

2018 linebacker commit Brian Johnson makes a leaping interception against Hutto during pool play.

Five Texas A&M commits along with a handful of top-targets in the classes of 2018 and 2019 were able to come together and showcase their talents at the Texas State 7on7 Championships this weekend at Veteran’s Park in College Station.
2018 commits excited for future
Three of A&M’s 13 current 2018 commits were in action at State 7on7, including Manvel teammates Brian Johnson and Deneric Prince.
“Feels great,” Johnson said of playing in College Station. “This is my home so I’m going to just ball out here.”
Johnson and Prince are both 3-star prospects according to 247 Sports. Fellow Maverick Jalen Preston, however, is one of the most coveted players in the nation. The 4-star receiver is Texas’ No. 5 overall player according to 247 Sports.
With Johnson and Prince on board, the duo has dialed up the pressure on Preston to potentially join them in Aggieland.
“We’re trying to get him on board,” Johnson said. “I think he really likes A&M, so I think there’s a good chance that A&M might pick up another great receiver like Jalen Preston.”
Prince, the Aggies’ lone running back commit in the 2018 class backed Johnson’s comments.
“We talk to him every day about it, coming to A&M,” Prince added. “He likes it a lot.”
Preston, however, was not in attendance at State 7on7 as he was participating in The Opening in Oregon.
Still, Johnson and Prince led the Mavericks to a 3-0 record to win Pool E. In game two, Johnson, who was playing safety, recorded an interception on the opening drive on a deep ball over the middle.
“The number two receiver went deep, and I knew that was my guy,” Johnson said of the play. “He threw it up and I was there to make a play.”
Manvel was knocked out in the opening round of the Championship Bracket, however, by hometown team College Station, as the Cougars scored a touchdown in the final minute to win 27-21.
Dickinson’s Montel Parker was the third 2018 commit to participate at State 7on7. Parker is a 3-star commit at receiver according to 247 Sports.
Parker’s Gators posted a frustrating 1-2 record in pool play, losing both games by a combined seven points. Parker and the Gators were more successful on day two though, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Consolation Bracket, falling to Cedar Ridge 31-21.
2019 class beginning to shape up
A&M’s 2019 recruiting class is still in its developing stages, but the two commits they hold have laid a firm foundation for what could come.
“It’s awesome just to be out here,” 2019 St. Pius X quarterback commit Grant Gunnell said. “We came up [Thursday] night and hung out with my brother [Will] who’s a walk-on on the team. We just love being up here.”
Gunnell is a 5-star prospect and the No. 2 quarterback in the nation for the class of 2019 according to 247 Sports.
As only one of two commits for 2019, the message from the A&M coaches is simple – help build the class. A process Gunnell believes is rolling, despite the low number of commits.
“We’ve got a lot of guys on the way actually,” Gunnell said. “We’ve been talking to a lot of guys that are this close [to committing.]”
Gunnell added that he was in strong talks with key 2019 receiver targets Jalen Curry from Stafford and Cuero’s Jordan Whittington, who both played at State 7on7.
Gunnell’s fellow St. Pius X teammate Chase Lane is the Aggies’ only other 2019 commit. Lane, a 3-star receiver according to 247 Sports, added that he is working on getting guys from the North Houston area to jump on board.
“Ever since I transferred from College Park, I was talking to some kids with A&M offers in my district and they we’re thinking about it because A&M is their number one choice,” Lane said.
As for State 7on7, the Gunnell-Lane connection was firing on all cylinders during pool play Friday. The duo connected for six touchdowns as the Panthers went 3-0 to win Pool G.
In Championship Bracket play Saturday, SPX ran into trouble during round two, falling to other local team A&M Consolidated 47-14, who lost to eventual-champion Lake Travis in the semifinals on a Hail Mary on the final play of the game.
Despite falling short of the title, Lane felt comfortable playing in College Station.
“It feels like home,” Lane said. “Just coming up here and being able to play around in our future home is fun.”

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  • 2018 commit Deneric Prince is the Aggies’ lone running back in the class.

  • 2018 wide receiver commit Montel Parker is a 3-star prospect according to 247 Sports.

  • 2019 commit Grant Gunnell is the No. 2 quarterback in the nation for his class according to 247 Sports.

  • 2019 wide receiver commit Chase Lane caught six touchdowns during pool play.

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